Lufthansa eyes slow recovery as EX-YU network decimated


Lufthansa expects very slow demand recovery in the face of the resurgent coronavirus pandemic as the airline cuts its number of operations to former Yugoslav markets by 73.8% in December alone, while capacity will be down 78.4% with 64.296 fewer seats. This December, the airline will no longer have flights to Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina with operations to Zagreb and Sarajevo temporarily suspended until the summer of 2021. The carrier has also temporarily cancelled flights from Munich to both Belgrade and Ljubljana, however, it continues to maintain operations from Frankfurt to the Serbian and Slovenian capital cities. The German carrier hopes to reach roughly half of its pre-crisis capacity over the course of next year. 

This December, the airline will operate 41 flights to Belgrade offering 5.718 one-way seats, down from 108 flights and 16.478 seats last year. During the month, Lufthansa will be Belgrade’s fifth biggest airline based on both frequencies and capacity, behind Air Serbia, Wizz Air, Montenegro Airlines and Turkish Airlines. In 2019, it was the third biggest by capacity and fourth by flights. In Ljubljana, the airline will offer 32 flights next month and 3.130 seats, down from 91 flights and 8.190 seats in December 2019. Out of the five airlines that plan to operate to the Slovenian capital next month, it will maintain its position as the biggest in terms of the number of offered flights, while it will now also offer the most capacity, whereas in 2019 it was behind easyJet. 

The German flag carrier will have no flights to Zagreb and Sarajevo next month. In 2019 it maintained 107 flights and offered 11.530 seats to the Croatian capital, while it operated 29 flights and put 4.798 seats on sale to Bosnia and Herzegovina in December of last year. Lufthansa was Zagreb’s second biggest airline by both frequency and capacity last year behind Croatia Airlines, while it was the fourth biggest by capacity in Sarajevo, behind Turkish, Austrian and Pegasus, and fifth by frequency, with Turkish, Croatia Airlines, Austrian and Air Serbia ahead. 

Lufthansa expects that capacity in the first quarter of 2021 will be up to 25% of pre-crisis levels, unchanged from the current quarter and well short of the 50% previously envisaged by the end of this year. "Maybe a recovery to 50% of the pre-crisis level could be possible next year, and maybe even up to 60% with business trips coming back in autumn 2021", the company said, emphasising that those hopes are based on the assumption that the pandemic can be tackled with vaccines and broad testing early next year. Reliable forecasts remain impossible for the time being, but advance bookings for private trips in June next year are close to pre-crisis levels and already above them on certain days in September.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:04

    KL will destroy them in ZAG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Don't think so, as long as OU is closely aligned to LH.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      Anon 09:04

      ;)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      Well AF-KL is going quite aggressively after the ZAG market because they know how lucrative it is for Star Alliance. Look at KL having daily flights, if that's not fighting for the golden goose then I don't know what is.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:36

      KLM opened this route, because they are desperately looking for new VFR routes (business clients still having not returned to flying).

      This is not a fight after market share in a non-existing market, as some comments suggest. The market will come back, so the competition.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:05

    I wonder if the new buy on board concept will have an impact on their passenger numbers in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Yes because people in ex-Yu really need a sandwich on 1 1/2 hour flight.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      No but OU will have a better product, while in BEG it will no longer have any advantage against competition.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:09

      OU will likely completely move to buy on board as well. As for BEG I don't think passengers choose Lufthansa because of the food. They choose it because of connections and to a lesser extent Star Alliance membership (they can earn points etc). Of course in both cases, price is most important.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:14

      OU will probably move to Buy on Board, they copy Lufthansa with everything else.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:17

      Onboard experience plays a massive role. Imagine you are flying from BEG to ORD and LH is €550 while KL is €555. In that case passengers will make a decision based on their previous experience which includes how comfy the seats are, who offered better food, better IFE and so on.
      As for miles, LH has become so stingy that it has little benefit anymore. On BEG-FRA you can earn like 500 miles on the cheapest ticket.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:23

      If food is important then TK will suffer the most, especially since their main competition for far east transfers are QR, FZ/EK...

      Delete
    7. @Anonymous 09:17
      LOL dude. Onboard experience has been proven again and again that it plays no role, especially on short haul (under four hour flights) for passengers when they are choosing which airline to fly!
      That has been proven all over the world over the last 30 years.
      Schedule, price, network and maybe alliance membership are the factors that 99% of the travelling public cares for.
      We aviation enthusiasts who care about things like uniforms, metal cutlery, quantity of cheese on pasta, desert or even Cacanski chips are a tiny minority.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:35

      Plane Mad +1000

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:40

      Re anon 9:17.

      A more important consideration (usually still after the price) for most of the pax is lenght of the flight (including transfer time) / timing of the flight.

      Flying LH never meant too much comfort, but still people went for it.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:41

      Nonsense. What happens when several airlines offer the same or similar schedule and pricing? Who wins then and who gets the customer? Also if things like branding, uniforms or onboard experience didn't matter then airlines wouldn't be spending millions to promote it. TK had an yearly budget of €70 million just for advertising where they showed their food, crew, cabins and so on.

      If your argument was true then no airline in the world would offer anything for free and would offer the most basic onboard experience. OS already had BoB and each time they cancelled it. LO also did the same and now they offer free drinks and a snack. DL, UA and AA are all bringing back free catering on certain domestic routes in the US.

      So yes, there are factors beyond pricing that are important in aviation. Airlines have showed that time and time again.

      p.s. if you were right, DY would be thriving and swimming in cash right now in stead of filing for bankruptcy. ;)

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:46

      On-board experience is far from the reason why DY is filing for bankruptcy now

      p.s. if you were right, FR and W6 would be filing for bankruptcy right now :)

      Delete
    12. @Anonymous 09:41
      Sorry, not sorry for hurting your feelings.
      Schedules of network airlines are never the same and certainly neither is pricing. It is only a minuscule number of fliers who will chose one airline over the other because of food instead of ticket price and schedule. Airlines are seeing, telling it to us and the act accordingly.
      That is they have butchered onboard offerings all over Europe, America, Australia and increasingly in Asia.
      That is why they are cramming more rows of seats in the cabins.
      They are doing it because pax voted with their pockets and awarded Easyjet, Wizz, Ryanair etc. both the biggest profit margins and highest load factors.
      BA, IB, AF/KL, SAS, LH groups just followed people's preferences.
      TK is a state subsidized airline, not part of the Open Skies agreement which is primarily focused on attracting pax in order to benefit the Turkish economy. Just like EK, QR and EY.
      But the economic crisis made even TK to greatly reduce spending on non essential items and butcher its network.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:17

      You did not hurt my feelings because you still did not manage to prove your point. AF-KL still offer free catering onboard, SK actually brought back breakfast and free drinks on flights that depart before 09.00 and so on.
      So obviously airlines did not go all the way the LCC way because they know it would hurt their business case. Why would they do that if people actually didn't care?

      Also there are many markets where FR and W6 failed and where they were beaten by legacy carriers which still offer some sort of onboard product.

      Just because you are running after the cheaper fare doesn't mean everyone is. Situation around the world is proof of that. Also Asian carriers offer good onboard product, look at Singarpore Airlines, Air India, JAL, ANA, Asiana, Korean Air...

      Delete
    14. Anonymous10:18

      DY failed because people want comfort and perks when flying on longer flights. If they didn't then they would be making money on all those LCC long-haul flights. People do care and aviation trends are best proof of that.

      Delete
    15. @Anonymous 10:17
      I am not expressing an opinion or preference. I am simply stating the reality in the aviation business. Sorry if it hurts your feelings but passengers chose what they care about enough to pay for.
      And complimentary meals is not one of them.
      But you are free to send your suggestions for a 180 degree turn to their business strategy to their HQ.
      I am sure they will appreciate your ideas!

      Delete
    16. Anonymous10:25

      DY failed because their cost base was too high for the revenue they were able to bring, simple as that. They were offering a much better product, while trying to compete for price with airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air.

      Low cost long haul doesn't work because you can't trim all the things LCCs can on short haul.

      Delete
    17. Also the Singapore Airlines model was tried by Garuda, Malaysian and Thai to be emulate. It failed miserably! And SQ as well as the Japanese and Korean carriers not only they have reduced onboard offerings but replaced a huge number of own flights with the low cost subsidiaries they launched.
      Please inform those carriers as well about the fault in their strategy!

      Delete
    18. @Anonymous 10:25
      Exactly! The long haul adventure with massive expansion in bases all over Europe and Argentina was what caused the biggest loses.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous10:53

      SMFH Anon 09:41 DY would be successful if they were offering their passengers free food and drinks?
      Why they didn't try that? Sounds like a very promising strategy...

      Delete
    20. Anonymous11:31

      I think it does sound promising since all other airlines that succeeded offer a good product across the Atlantic.

      Garuda, Malaysian and Thai still offer food and drinks onboard their flights.

      Delete
    21. Anonymous15:50

      -Yes because people in ex-Yu really need a sandwich on 1 1/2 hour flight.

      When Air Serbia removed that sandwich Lufthansa fanboys proclaimed they would never step on Air Serbia plane because of it and would only fly LH. Instead of a sandwich, they deserve to be served revenge: a dish best served cold.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:07

    Lufthansa are failing bad.

    https://twitter.com/eurocontrolDG/status/1330780912817217538/photo/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Wow that's disastrous especially when you factor in OS as well which is operating just 10% of their last year's network. No wonder LH is looking for an additional €600 million. OS employees are receiving so little money that they started looking for a second job (German aviation portal).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      LOL @TK

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      By which data you judge LH is failing?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:42

      By data in the link obviously.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:13

      Number of flights tells us almost nothing about how well the airline is operating. Until you add load factor, average revenue per ticket, operating costs, etc., you don't have the big picture.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:16

      They are not in a business of flying, but in a business of making money. If by flying you can nowadays only lose money, they are cutting flights to reduce losses.

      It's a sound business behaviour, even though people here perversely seem to treat different measurements as KPIs (mostly size of an airline).

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:27

      "They are not in a business of flying, but in a business of making money."

      You couldn't have put this in better words. Well done.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous15:32

      They are not in a business of flying, but in a business of making money - easy to say when you have 9B eur of taxpayers money to back you up. It is evident many EU airlines are being treated by their governments now as in a business of flying. Keeping aviation infrastructure alive is far more important than making sure airlines are strictly profitable. If 2021 continues to be difficult like 2020 you can bet your a** rules will change to allow financial support of airlines even if they were loss making in the previous year (i.e. 2020).

      Delete
    9. Anonymous16:05

      If in their own perspective these companies were in a business of flying, they would keep the network/frequences unchanged or even increased. The network/frequences would be the measurement of their success.

      But you are right: for governments the perspective may be different - this is why many of them subsidise aviation during covid. They pay for what they want and get - infrastructure.

      But if/when a race to subsidise starts, poorer nations and their bussineses will always lose. They will not have a deep enough pocket to outbid the more wealthy ones and the gap in wealth will grow even bigger.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous18:26

      Exactly, that's why rich LH offloaded flying to poor Croatia to OU, so their taxpayers can cover the losses.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous18:46

      Nope. I meant Germany, if unleashed, will be able to spend on LH much much more than Croatia on OU or Serbia on JU and this even keeping in mind the difference in size of these airlines.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous20:28

      No one wants Germany unleashed. US has Ramstein base to keep them on a short leash. :-)

      In my view, Cro and Srb would do great to setup NGOs in Germany to control transparency of government subsidies to LH. :-)))

      Delete
    13. Anonymous20:46

      This isn't a bad idea, but I guess that ealier we will see a German funded NGO controlling the transparency of government subsidies in Cro and Srb and we know this transparency is even worse than finances of airlines in those two countries. :-))

      Actually the only reason there is none yet, is that they probably see subsidies in Cro and Srb as totally harmless or even advantageous for them.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous21:37

      Cro and Srb should band together on this one. Just look at BER airport and it's clear German engineering and corruption must be kept in check :-))))

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:10

    They have suspended so many flights from MUC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:34

      Yes they killed of many flights from MUC and are focusing on FRA instead.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:13

    The photo is ironic, considering travelling to EU is banned from most non-EU countries.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:13

    It will be interesting to see if they come back from this on the ex-Yu market

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Of course they will.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:34

      Don't be so sure,

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:21

    From triple daily service between Munich and Belgrade to no service at all. Goes to show how much demand has fallen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Maybe this could be a chance for Air Serbia to consider BEG-MUC, if there is any point.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      MUC currently serves 10.000 pax per day, down from 120.000. I doubt JU would be successful plus there is Wizz to FMM.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous21:24

      MUC as a hub is done, they won't recover.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:22

    The biggest shock to me is them not keeping any flights to ZAG over winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      Why? It’s not like they cannot offer direct flights to their costumer.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:52

      Because look at the stats. They were the second busiest airline in ZAG last year. That's gotta count for something.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:27

    That's unfortunate

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:27

    So many airlines suspending flights to the region.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:28

    I wonder based on what they made a decision to suspend MUC but keep FRA. Any particular reason?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Demand, traffic flow and connections.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:32

    Not good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:39

      This sucks. :/

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:33

      Most people predicted there would be a second wave and demand is usually low in November anyway.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:32

    Damn corona

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:32

    I wouldn't be so certain they will resume flights to Sarajevo or some Zagreb routes next summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:52

      Let's see what happens

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:32

      They planned to in crease Munich-Sarajevo this summer, before the pandemic hit, so hopefully they will be back.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:33

    "Maybe a recovery to 50% of the pre-crisis level could be possible next year, and maybe even up to 60% with business trips coming back in autumn 2021"

    This is mainly because most people deffered their booked tickets from this summer to next summer, not because there will be unprecedented demand for travel.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:53

    Lufthansa is burning so much money, it's really not that surprising.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:29

      They are accumulating a huge amount of debt at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:41

      Who isn't?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:35

      And they got 9 billion from the government. Crazy

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:54

    Good news are that LH increased FRA-BEG from 3 weekly in Septemeber to 9 weekly from mid of October despite lockdown in Germany and despite some so called experts doubted it would ever happen.

    Cancelling of MUC-FRA surely helped FRA-BEG to be increased, but it is good to hear that in these dificult times LH increased BEG for 300%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      *Cancelling of MUC-BEG

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:28

      Yes but MUC was 3 daily!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:42

      It was before pandemic. In August maximum frequency was 5 weekly.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:00

    It's happening everywhere. It's not just ex-Yu flights Lufthansa is suspending.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous10:00

    That's considerable reduction in flights. Just wonder what are they doing in the rest of the region?! Are they still flying/reduced to Athens, Thessaloniki, Sofia, Tirana, Sofia, Bucharest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:58

      FRA-ATH 7x weekly
      FRA-SKG 1x weekly
      FRA-SOF 11x weekly
      FRA-TIA 7x weekly
      FRA-OTP 7x weekly

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:04

      Thanks! Any from Munich?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:12

      None

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:15

      Wow thanks. So LJU and BEG have more FRA flights than these cities. That's quite amazing.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:21

      Um no not really. FRA-LJU is currently 5x weekly. FRA-BEG is 9x

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:27

      Ok but BEG is still more than the above cities (except Sofia)

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:31

      Sofia is also on a mix of CRJ and E95. Not surprising, right now in the air FRA-VIE is also operated by CRJ. A route that used to get the A346 before China virus hit us.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:52

      China virus... smh.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous21:26

      Well it is a virus and it is from China. No one minds when a flue is called the Spanish flu.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:07

    The livery is horrid.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous11:27

    I'm not surprised. LH has big problems at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:28

      There isn't a single airline in the world that doesn't have big problems at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:36

      Some more than others...

      Delete
  22. Anonymous11:33

    I think a big issue for next summer is will there still be travel restrictions. If there are then there will be no recovery whatsoever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:37

      Definitely! Quarantines and travel restrictions kill of all demand.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:38

      Probably the vaccination will be compulsory for all international passengers since all other solutions are way too complicated and hard to harmonize between countries. Qantas already announce that with a comment that they expect other airlines to follow.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:44

      Yikes. Fascism is back.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:03

      I'll happily fly fascist airlines in the knowledge that my fellow fascist passengers can't infect me just because they got their medical degrees on YouTube.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:23

      Hats off to Vlad! Yellow fever obligatory vaccination for some destination also has nothing to do with protecting communities and in some Communist countries people had babies for breakfast.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:35

      A new iteration of the iPhone takes longer to develop than this new vaccine. And that's an upgrade of an existing model, not a brand new vaccine type.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:16

      On the other hand, the development of a new iteration of the iPhone isn't maximum priority for every government around the globe.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:57

      True, though AAPL has more on-hand cash to not make a faulty product and yet they have flukes every time. However, a green tint on your 12 Pro Max will not affect your life as an undertested concoctions could. Anyway, airlines won't dare to do this as they are already bankrupt and governments won't be able to keep the money printing presses going at this pace for much longer.

      Delete

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